Extension Grieder-Swarovski . Küsnacht

AFGH Architects . photos: © valentin jeck

In 2015 the clients decided to build an underground extension and undertake a rearrangement of the house, whereby the building was divided into two independent apartments. The clients’ main apartment covered the ground and the first floor orientated both towards the garden encompassed by the L-shaped building and the west-facing outdoor area adjoining the woods and supplemented with raised plant beds.

The existing indoor swimming pool with a sauna on the subterranean level was refurbished with newly fitted surfaces, access is provided via a stair leading to the ground floor. The studio apartment on the attic level, with a large terrace and a view over Lake Zurich, is accessed via a new staircase on the outer garage wall and across the terrace on the first floor.

The new entrance to the apartment leads via the existing kitchen and staircase to the top floor where the living room and the bedroom are located. In the basement level, a further self-contained guest flat was added to the already existing one, creating a total of four apartments in the house.

A large multipurpose room, storage space and an office, as well as a reception area, were all created below ground level, accessible from the street via its own entrance. This allows any gallery activities to be undertaken without affecting the private areas. The erratic boulder uncovered during the excavation work has been integrated into the southern garden layout, which in turn now constitutes the entrance to the gallery.

The boulder, the step-like features of which also connect the two levels of the garden, interspersed with azalea and rhododendrons, creates echoes of a Japanese garden but simultaneously a Tyrol mountain landscape, which is where the lady of the house comes from. As a whole, the expansive stretch next to the woods is supplemented with plantings and new paving to match the aesthetic of the erratic boulder, divided off towards the neighbors with a simple but elegant wooden-slat fence.